Personal Finance

Harley rolling out eight upgraded motorcycles

Harley-Davidson Inc. has unveiled 2014 touring and trike motorcycles, developed under the name Project Rushmore, that have liquid-cooled engines and touch-screen electronics more akin to luxury automobiles.

Eight models were retooled and enhanced under Project Rushmore, making it the largest new model launch in Harley’s history, the company says. The unveiling comes as Harley plans to celebrate its 110th anniversary in Milwaukee over Labor Day weekend.

“This is beyond anything we’ve ever done,” Harley spokesman Matt King said.

Harley operates a manufacturing plant near Kansas City International Airport.

The Rushmore cycles are the first to come under a new product development initiative, announced four years ago, that aims to bring new bikes and features to the marketplace faster.

Eight new motorcycles will have Project Rushmore features: the Road King, Street Glide, Street Glide Special, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited, Tri Glide Ultra, CVO Ultra Limited and CVO Road King.

“Project Rushmore is the overarching name we are using for this family of bikes,” King said.

New features include the first liquid-cooled engine for a Harley-Davidson touring bike; integrated front and rear anti-lock brakes; integrated audio, communications, navigation and vehicle information in a single electronic touch screen; five-way joy sticks on the left and right motorcycle hand controls for most of the system’s functions; and a more comfortable passenger seat.

Linked braking, where braking with the front and rear wheels is synchronized, is activated at speeds above about 20 miles per hour. At highway speeds, the system will automatically calculate the amount of braking that’s necessary under the existing conditions.

The company’s styling team influenced every aspect of the makeover, with considerable input from customers.

“When we got this assignment, we knew that we were messing with the Holy Grail of motorcycles,” said Brian Nelson, lead stylist on Project Rushmore.